TODAY’S TOP ARTICLES – 7 FEB 2014

United Kingdom: UK economy to grow 2.5% in 2014
The National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NIESR) forecast that the UK economy will grow by 2.5% this year and 2.1% in 2015, as the BBC News Reported. The NIESR said in a statement that economic growth is expected to be pushed by consumer spending and buoyancy in the housing market.

Germany: German exports unexpectedly drop in December
Reuters reports that German exports unexpectedly fell in December 2013, following four consecutive months of increasing figures. This might be a sign that the country can not rely on foreign demand to boost growth. However data for the full year showed that Germany’s trade surplus reached a new record in 2013 as imports fell more sharply than exports.

China: China to allow private investors to establish rural commercial banks
According to Xinhua, the Chinese government will allow private investors to start rural commercial banks, which is expected to boost competition and strengthen the country’s financial system.

United States: US adds just 113,000 January jobs as unemployment rate dips to 6.6%
The Guardian reports that the unemployment rate in the US fell to a disappointing 6.6%, slightly down from the previous month’s result. The news comes after a last-ditch effort to extend an emergency program for the long-term unemployed failed to pass in the Senate on Thursday.

Ukraine: Central Bank lets hryvnia float amid depreciation pressures
According to the Kyiv Post, the National Bank of Ukraine introduced a new exchange rate for the hryvnia at 8.708 to the dollar in what appears to be an attempt to meet the lending requirements of the International Monetary Fund. The currency has been depreciating rapidly in the last weeks amid concerns over the outcome of the political crisis that started in November 2013.

For latest economic indicators from around the world, please visit us at FocusEconomics.

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